American Association for Justice Announces Opposition to FAA Reauthorization Amendments that Put the Public and Workers at Risk
Two Amendments Would Make Our Roadways More Dangerous While Helping Negligent Companies Avoid AccountabilityApril 25,2018
Washington, DC — Today, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) announced its public opposition to two amendments being proposed to H.R. 4, the “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.” The amendments would wipe out state laws that protect workers’ rights and put motorists at risk by eliminating negligent hiring claims against companies that ship their products using unsafe, fly-by-night trucking companies.
An amendment offered by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) would eliminate state protections for commercial drivers, taking away not only lunch and/or rest breaks in 20 states and territories, but all state employment and labor protections including minimum wage, family leave, medical leave, and disability. Even worse, the amendment makes the changes retroactive to 1994, wiping out 24 years of case law and at least 50 pending lawsuits. The amendment is opposed by numerous safety advocates, the Teamsters Union and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
Another amendment, offered by Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), seeks to shield third-party companies (brokers and shippers) from accountability when their hired drivers cause a crash. Protecting these third-party companies would encourage negligent hiring practices and make it even harder for people harmed or killed in a catastrophic crash to hold these companies accountable.
“The Denham Amendment wipes out state laws that protect truck drivers’ wages, hours and benefits,” said AAJ President Kathleen Nastri. “Backers of this amendment are jamming a trucking issue into the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization as a giveaway to trucking company owners, even letting companies withhold paid sick leave or family leave. Meanwhile, the Duncan Amendment would do further damage by incentivizing companies to cut corners when they are vetting drivers in order to save money – completely disregarding public safety.”
The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org.